Prospective Analysis of Short- and Mid-term Knowledge Retention after a Brief Ultrasound Course for Undergraduate Medical Students
OBJECTIVES: The benefits of implementing point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in the emergency department are well established. Ideally, physicians should be taught POCUS during medical school. Several different courses have been designed for that purpose and have yielded good results. However, medical students need specifically designed courses that address the main objectives of knowledge acquisition and retention. Despite that, there is limited evidence to support knowledge retention, especially in the mid-term. The purpose of this study is to evaluate short- and mid-term knowledge retention after a student-aimed ultrasound course. METHODS: Medical students participating in a medical student trauma symposium (SIMPALT) in 2017 were included. Their profiles and baseline ultrasound knowledge were assessed by a precourse questionnaire (PRT). The same questionnaire was used one week (1POT) and three months (3POT) after the course. RESULTS: Most of the participants were 1st- to 4th- year medical students. None had prior ultrasound knowledge. They reported costs as the major barrier (65%) to enrollment in an ultrasound course. A comparison between the PRT and 1POT results showed a statistically significant difference (po0.02), while no difference was found between 1POT and 3POT (p40.09). CONCLUSION: Our findings support the use of a tailored ultrasound course for medical students. Knowledge acquisition and mid-term retention may be achieved by this specific population.